Are you too hot in the summer and cold in the winter? Does your carpet fade? Are your energy bills too high? These are the concerns we most often hear from homeowners when they ask us about purchasing new windows. We hear you, the quality of windows can impact your lifestyle and home in many ways. So if the time has come to replace the windows in your home, here are some helpful points that will help guide your window selection.
What to consider when you purchase a window:
Geographic Orientation. How many windows are facing East, West, North and South? Since the sun rises in the East, our homes see the most of hot midday sun on the East and South facades. North and West facing windows tend to lose a greater amount of heat through the glass.
Shading. Overhanging awnings and landscaping can offer protection from the sun’s thermal radiation in the summer. In the winter, they can still allow the benefit of the solar heat gain when the sun’s orientation is lower on the horizon. This solar heat gain is free energy in those winter months, reducing the load on your heating system and saving you money on your energy bills.
Coating. There are two types of Low-E (Emissivity) that were developed to decrease the amount of ultraviolet light (causes interior materials to fade) and infrared light (heat energy).
Passive Low E (Hard Coat) – This type of coating is applied to the glass in its molten stage, so it becomes fused to the glass. It allows higher levels of solar heat gain but will reflect a good portion of the heat back into your home.
Solar Control Low E (Soft Coat) – Solar Control Low E coating is applied to the finished glass by a process called ‘sputtering’. This coating has superior solar control performance and is typically used for windows that are fully exposed to the East and South facing sun. It does have a slightly darker tint than Passive Low E coatings, as they have 2-3 layers of film applied to the glass. The final result, however, is full transparency.
90% of your window is made of glass.
You probably thought it was 100%, didn’t you? But the other 10% is actually made up of different glazing and coating that is used to provide the comfort and efficiency you desire.
With these points in mind, it is important to speak with your architect, contractor or one of the window experts here at McLeod Windows. We’ll help ensure you get the best glass for your windows and doors.